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Alzheimer's Disease & Dementia Message Board
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Old 10-01-2008, 09:08 PM   #1
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Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: On, Canada
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dotters HB User
Newbie Requires Ideas

Through no fault of her own, our 84 year old dear mother while carrying groceries to her own car, was knocked down by a car backing out of a parking space. She endured 1 emergency hip surgery and an elective surgery and spent 6 months convalescing. Family provided 24 hour attendance during the hospital stay. We saw dramatic personality changes, including severe depression. Had we not been present, she may have died.

We feel the accident exacerbated her mental challenges.

I sold my own condo and moved in to help her in her home. We did a lot of homework and research, learning about cognitive decline,memory loss, dementia etc. We built a plan. almost 3 years later, she is still in her own home, but it is taking 3 daughters, 2 of them a lot of travelling, to keep her there. She is lonely, but we have to facilitate her getting out to meet new people. We have no outside help. We are exhausted. Mum at present resides during the day at home alone with no company. We are not happy with this. We are all exhausted and our own health is deteriorating as a direct result. We have a good comprehension of possible caregiving resources and alternatives, but at present we need to deal with some of her physical ailments to prevent other ailments from developing.

For some time now our biggest challenge (sorry for spelling) has been getting mum to accept care from anyone but her daughters. She has refused most efforts. It takes a lot of finesse on the part of the youngest sister in particular. Mum has ailments that need to be addressed. Our last effort failed and left us very unhappy. On top of her usual pains, Mum has an unusual mole that needs to be removed. We drove her to the doctor. She refused to get out of the car. Inside the doctor's office, the secretary did not volunteer to come out and try to coax my mother in. She made no effort to consult the nurse or the family doctor. I was informed by the secretary that mum should be placed in a nursing home. The mole was not removed.

We are aware of options resources including CCAC but have not yet made contact. We are aware of the waiting lists etc. In the meantime, we just want the mole removed.

My question to the members of this forum - is one that we have been coping with for several years. We are familiar with the use of little white lies, and other strategies to resolve many of our daily challenges communicating with our mother and achieving our goals where her daily care is concerned. The one challenge we have not succeeded often enough in conquering is that of our mother's refusal to attend appointments - hair, toenails, dentist, family doctor.I am hoping the members of this forum can share with me their ideas, however unusual, on how to help a person with cognitive disorder, poor ability to rationalize, memory loss, fear of being removed from the home, mistrust of the medical community, and potential for emotional catastrophe at any moment when placed under duress, attend an ambulatory care clinic for removal of an abnormal mole.

In her better days, our mother would not have left any ailment unattended, let alone a blackened mole that could be cancerous. So we have to help her through this, until the time comes when we can get reliable daily assistance in the door, or when she herself in a nursing home. Hopefully, some members here will have some ideas we have not thought of.

I apologies for the wordiness, I realize my sentences are running on a bit. Hoping for some responses soon.

Dotters.

 
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Old 10-01-2008, 10:10 PM   #2
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Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Denver Co USA
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skimps46 HB Userskimps46 HB Userskimps46 HB User
Re: Newbie Requires Ideas

Welcome to the boards, Dotters! Sorry you have to be here, but glad you found us. You will find that every single one of us can understand where you are coming from, and are tried and true experienced caregivers.

My dad is also at home. I am his caregiver, along with being a wife and mum myself.

I totally understand about your mum and appointments. My dad is the exact same way. So this is what I do: Next week, dad has a doctor's appointment. He refuses to go to the doctor, dentist or optometrist. (He is a stage 6 dementia patient). So, next Wednesday, we will have our breakfast like always, I will help him dress, brush his teeth, and announce that we are "gonna get out of the house for a while and go for a drive". No notice of doctor's appointment. When we arrive at the doctor's office, I will turn off the car, go open his door, reach in and help him out and march him into the office with not a word.

See, once they get to a certain point, they cannot formulate an idea real quickly. I literally blindside him with appointments. I find that when we just GO, and I help him out of the car, and help him into the office, he is so completely gobsmacked that it does not occur to him to argue. He doesn't have time to gather his wits about him and refuse.

You know how some parenting shows teach parents how to deal with petulant toddlers? Just go to them, take their hand firmly but gently, and announce, "We are going outside now!" and march right outside. The kids goes right along, every time. Well, our parents are much like that.

Do not give mum any time whatsoever to stew about an upcoming appointment. Tell her nothing. Just like a child - you wouldn't warn a 4 yr old that he's getting shots next week, would you? No. So, we keep all appointments to ourselves, and put our loved ones in the car (under whatever pretense works - ice cream, visit, drive), and drive them right to the office of our choice.

Hope that helps. Come back often. You'll always find a soft shoulder to cry on, a listening ear or 20 (ha!), and lots of help.

Peace,
...lil' deb

 
Old 10-02-2008, 07:15 PM   #3
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Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: On, Canada
Posts: 10
dotters HB User
Re: Newbie Requires Ideas

Skimps - thank you sooo much for responding. I notice due to my impatience, I erred and keyed in/ twice-posted my message so now I am working two threads. have received responses from l'il Deb and Martha, sharing very different experiences and each response has given some new ideas for consideration. Quick reply this evening. I hope to get a good night's sleep. Interestingly, but not surprisingly my mother enjoyed a drive to the lake (Tylenols help her) to visit my younger sister (we are ages 51, 53 and 60). She nattered all the way, loves to listen to tenors and other music along the way (music has been one of our greatest allies when mum needs entertainment/distraction). My older sister will be down on Monday and we will review the responses in an effort to get mum her treatment.
Thanks again, dotters.

 
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